"I first skated the combi pool when it was the old white, plaster version. It was bumpy, slippery, and totally unpredictable. During one of my first sessions there, I fell sliding out and broke my wrist. I was in a cast for three months. After I was healed, I came back and did a few grinds for redemption- and then I had decided I would never skate this hellhole of a bowl again. It just wasn’t for me. A month later (2005) the first ever Protec Pool Party contest was announced, and my heart sank… There was no way I could get out of skating it now."
"Since then, the combi has literally broken and shaped me, much like a blacksmith hammers steel into place. I have broken both wrists, torn ligaments, and had a few concussions in there. Last year I was out for nine months with nerve damage in my foot (you guessed it; from the combi). Most recently, I sprained my neck."
Mimi and Allysha- down but not out.
"But there is another side to the combi pool coin; I have also gotten something much greater in return for the pain. I have been able to progress my skating, and have had some of the most amazing and memorable sessions of my life there with childhood heroes and friends alike. Sometimes magic is where you least expect it (in a mall, in Orange county)."
"Something else has happened along the way -- quietly -- and slowly, over the years.. other girls want a piece of the combi too. Some of them are sweet little girls with a fierce determination you wouldn’t expect (Minna Stess, Annika Vrklan, Poppy Starr Olsen). Others are further down the road, and developing into amazingly talented skaters. These women are in the process of taking girls skateboarding where it hasn’t been before; setting new standards for us all (Nora Vasconcellos, Allysha Bergado, Lizzie Armanto, Alana Smith, Julz Lynn). Each year seems to build off the last, and it has been a gift in it’s own to witness. We are all skateboarders, after the same thing- we love riding them. Girls, guys, whatever. When you see a thirteen year old girl air over your head, you know things are shifting. These girls are doing it, and there’s an army of them. I just hope the combi treats them as good as it has me."
"If you’ll be in Orange county this weekend and you’d like to watch the girls skate in the 4th annual Combi Pool Classic, please email me: email@example.com
(Entry is limited). Full schedule here: www.girlsskatenetwork.com
Thank you Steve and Kristy Van Doren for all of your support with this event."